With its infinite palate of flavours, whisky has captured the hearts of spirit lovers worldwide. We all know it can be enjoyed as an aperitif or a digestif, but did you know it is also great during a meal?

Source: Fortune Lounge Club

Contrary to popular belief, the Irish—not the Scottish—were first to make this grain-based spirit which would later become the whisky we all know today. The Scottish soon followed step with their Celtic neighbours, dominating the market in the early 20th century. Other countries then jumped on the whisky bandwagon. Today this spirit is enjoyed all over the world.

Whether from Scotland, Ireland, the United States, India, Japan, or elsewhere, whisky must always be made of water and grains, with an alcohol content of at least 40%, and be aged for at least three years. However, in practice, production and ageing techniques vary greatly, thus yielding an endless palate of flavour that definitely holds its own against wine!

First, whisky can be tasted straight — without adding ice or water. You can then add a few drops of water to soften the flavour and awaken the bouquet. Then, holding the glass at arm’s length, swirl it around and pass it smoothly under your nose to smell the aromas. Lastly, sip on the glass, making sure not to take in any air to avoid burning sensations. A good whisky is just as enjoyable as an aperitif, with or without ice, during a meal, or as a digestif. It’s all a question of taste!

Only whisky made in Scotland can be called Scotch, which means “Scottish”. Bourbon, made of locally-grown corn and rye, is mainly made in Kentucky and Tennessee in the United States, and is always aged in new barrels whose interior is charred with flames. In Canada, as its name says, rye is made from rye. Finally, in Ireland, whisky is made from malted barley. While single malts contain malted barley from an individual distillery, blended malts are a combination of several whiskies.


While the feat may be tricky, pairing dishes with whisky can prove to be quite interesting. The golden rule is to pinpoint the ingredient that will pull together the recipe and the whisky, be it an herb, a spice or a fruit. For instance, sea food pairs perfectly with the iodine taste from Islay malts. Chocolate and root vegetables blend beautifully with the earthy notes of peated whiskies. However, grapes and grains do not mix well. When serving whisky with a meal, set aside the wine!

Source: Press Release - La Grande Degustation de Montreal 2016


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